Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 9 May 2017
Parliamentary Record 5
Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020
pp 1623 to 1686
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Tuesday 9 May 2017 1666 and people living in regional, remote and rural parts of the Northern Territory feel that when they bring a petition to this House that it is treated in the same manner any urban petition would be treated. I also raised concerns about that matter, because coming from an electorate like my electorate, Namatjira, I have one of the highest number of outstations scattered throughout my region. I want people living in the outstations, remote communities and rural areas have the same access and the same process and procedure in this House that people in urban areas would have. I welcome that decision and look forward to discussing the matter of the standing orders. I also think it is very important to talk about the proposal of the new committeesone being social and economic. That is a great position to lead into. That structure is very inclusive and will allow for a lot of accountability and scrutiny. I pick up on the Leader of the Oppositions concerns about the time allocation. There was some concern regarding whether you would give 59 hours to annual reports and one hour to estimates. Thankfully the CLP government is not in power, so I can comfortably say I do not think this government would take that position by any means. But I note the Leader of the Oppositions position on that. I think that should be discussed. I support the recommendations and look forward to working with all my parliamentary colleagues in this Assembly to make sure we continue to look at ways to reform the parliament. Territory Labor has a strong tradition in this Chamber to reform parliament and look at engaging the general public in the Northern Territory. That has been evidenced by previous Labor governments, when regional sittings occurred in places like Alice Springs. We made sure our local constituencies had the opportunitywe had school groups being taken through Central Australia to see parliament. I love sitting in here and seeing schools from the Top End visiting. I would love to see more schools from the great electorates of Namatjira, Braitling, Araluen and so forth have the opportunity to see that. I would love that. I understand there are some significant costs involved with that, but the results and benefits to the local community to be able to see democracy in action is very rewarding. We are a team with a strong record of making sure we open parliament and the democratic process to Territorians to see firsthand their House in action. I look forward to working with everyone in this Chamber to ensure that we continue to open parliaments because, as I said previously, only parliaments can truly modernise parliament. We need to work effectively together to achieve that outcome for the good of everyone in the Northern Territory. I look forward to further work in that area. Mr WOOD (Nelson): Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, I will say one thing about school children coming from Central Australia to the Assembly. I would like the Assembly to go back to Alice Springs. In the past it was once every two years, and to overcome that gap between them and us it was worth the effort of running parliament in Alice Springs. It was also good for me, as a member of parliament, to have an opportunity to catch up with residents and local councils of Alice Springs and the surrounding areas to get an idea of what is happening, so I can gain a more rounded education of matters that are not just for the Top End but for Central Australia. That would be good. I thank all committee members. The Member for Fong Lim, our Chair, did an excellent job considering he has only been in parliament a fairly short time. It is not easy being a Chair of a committee. I also thank the Members for Araluen, Karama, Daly, Namatjira and Sanderson; our Clerk Assistant Committees, Russell Keith; Committee Secretary, Julia Knight; Senior Research Officer, Elise Dyer; Administration and Research Officer, Annie McCall; and Administration Assistant, Kim Cowcher. Without those people this document would never have been written. Those people have the experience to put together all the discussions we have, which sometimes can be disorganised because of the various opinions. They are able to put those together and come up with a document that is readable, understandable and mostly makes sense. I support most of the recommendations in the report, although I have some leanings otherwise. I have heard people congratulating the government on being open and transparent. Regardless of your views on a previous bill that went through parliament, if the government was fair dinkum about what it will do now, it would have used that in the termination of pregnancy bill, gone out to the people and established that committee.
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